Happy Memorial Day!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful, fun and relaxing weekend! I know we sure have. I started the weekend off with a brisk pace run Saturday morning.
What is a brisk pace run you ask? Good question. The “Brisk Pace Run” is a run that my coach likes to use to increase energy usage efficiency. The run is 60 to 90 minutes at close to marathon pace (you should stay within a range of 80 to 85% of your maximum heart rate). You use the first two miles to warm up and slowly ease into the brisk pace range and then you stay in that range for the remainder of the run. The focus is to stay as relaxed and smooth as possible in this pace range, which will help you to become more efficient using energy within that range.
With all of this in mind, I tried to prepare myself mentally that the run wasn’t going to be *that* difficult. Daniel and I met Kenny and Bowie at Warehouse Saturday morning and I was fully prepared to tackle this run by myself. I knew that the guys would keep me in sight, but I didn’t think that any of them would want to join me for the workout. Thankfully Bowie decided that he would run with me and I was so thankful! It helps to have a buddy when you are doing a workout.
We started off with a 2 mile warm up and then we started the brisk pace portion. The target pace for the workout was 6:45 to 7:00 pace, but we ended up averaging 7:15. I think that 7:15 is probably pretty representative of my marathon pace based on my current fitness. 6:45 is closer to where I *want* to be, but I’m going to have to put in some work to get there. We are also getting into the summer heat and humidity, which means that it is somewhat inevitable that the paces will be a little bit slower than normal.
My average heart rate for the run was 174. I think this is fairly close to 80 to 85% of my maximum heart rate, so effort wise I was right where I needed to be.
After our run, Daniel and I took the paddle boards out for a little bit and let Brooks get his favorite exercise in. He loves to swim! His workout basically consists of 100m repeats fetching his toy and occasionally a rest interval on the paddle board with us.
We all enjoyed getting some bay time in. It’s our favorite.
Saturday afternoon we went to a crawfish boil for Keith’s birthday (Rebecca’s husband). Rebecca got Daniel to build a crawfish table for Keith for his birthday present. Daniel really enjoys making things, so he was happy to have a project to work on.
Here is what it looks like pre-crawfish. It has drink holders, paper towel holders and a bucket in the center (that you place on a trash can).
Rebecca and I had a long run to tend to Sunday morning. We met at 5 a.m. in hopes of getting most of the run knocked out before it got too hot. We ended up doing a little less than we planned to do, but we still got a solid 16 miles in.
Post-run we headed to coffee loft to drink all the drinks. Proper rehydration starts with coffee and includes lots of water and Nuun, with an occasional Diet Coke or smoothie thrown in there. Speaking of hydration and nutrition, I’m almost done with the Food Guide for Marathoners book that I’ve been reading. It has been super easy to read and has lots of helpful tips. I’m planning to do a review of that soon.
Rebecca and I were actually supposed to do 22 miles Sunday, but we were both riding the struggle bus (well … mainly I was). Hello summer heat and humidity! Long runs in the summer can get pretty tough around here. We made a negotiation with ourselves that instead of doing 22 Sunday and 10 Monday (which is what her schedule called for), we would do 16 both days and end up with the same result. She is training for a 50 mile race and so the back-to-back long runs are a big part of the training.
We had a pretty big group (10) that met today to run, since most of us are off work for the holiday. Rebecca and I got started before the group and knocked out 10 of our miles and then met the group at 6 to finish up our last 6. We rode the struggle bus again today (mainly her this time), but we got it in! Boom. We have been running together for a while now and goodness knows we have had some really good runs and some really bad runs. We stick together through it all and that’s all you can really ask for!
Daniel has randomly started training for the Army Physical Fitness Test (PFT). By randomly I mean that one of his buddies is in the Army and posted his score on social media, and Daniel decided to see if he could beat it. Competitive much? You bet.
Long story short, we are now both training for it. Again … competitive much? We aren’t competing with each other specifically though, we are just supporting each other by participating in the same activities. It’s a delicate balance that we’ve established. It works for us.
The test is designed to test muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. You are scored based on three events: push-ups, sit-ups and a two mile run. You do two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and follow that with a two mile run. The scoring is based on gender, age, number of repetitions performed of the push-up and sit-up, and run time. The score for each event ranges from 0 to 100 points and you can earn over 300 only if you “max out” all three events.
In order to max out the push-ups, I have to do 50 and Daniel has to do 77 (based on our age and gender). In order to max out the sit-ups, we both have to do 82. In order to max out the run, I have to do two miles in under 15:48 and Daniel has to go under 13:18. We are both good to go on the run portion, but the push-ups and sit-ups are going to take some work. We both did a time trial this week to see where we are now and we are going to train specifically for the push-ups and sit-ups over the next 6 to 8 weeks and we will take the test again and see how much we are able to improve.
We both actually did better than we were expecting up front. I thought that the push-ups were going to be my weakest area by far, but as it turns out, the sit-ups were what got me. You have to be really fast with those bad boys. I did 57 and I need 82. Here is my score:
I didn’t do the two mile run part. We just put in an estimate for that. I know that I can do it faster than 15 minutes, so I would get 100 points for that regardless. The only time it would make a difference is if I am able to max out each thing and then I could maybe get additional points.
Daniel did really good with the push-ups, but the sit-ups got him as well. He did actually do the two mile run as part of his time trial. He said that his arms felt like lead during the run.
After our run this morning, we started our first day of training.
We are going to start this week doing alternating 30 seconds of push-ups and 30 seconds of sit-ups with a 30 second rest in between each set. We will do 4 sets of each and we are going to do this three times per week. I think that the core strength will be pretty beneficial to our running and if not, oh well. It’ll be fun to do something different!
Side note: my arms are currently more sore than they have been in a really long time (possibly ever). Those push-ups are no joke!
We finished up our day with some grilling. We grilled salmon burgers and kabobs to have tonight and also grilled some chicken and steak to have for dinner the rest of the week. That’s some quality adulting right there. We do a much better job of eating quality meals (read: not cereal) for dinner if we prepare it ahead of time.
That’s all I’ve got for today. See you soon!